The Uttar Pradesh’s main Opposition party, the Samajwadi Party (SP) is focusing on strengthening its organisational structure in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha election and is in no mood to form a coalition in the State with the other political parties such as the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Indian National Congress (INC), due to the bitter experiences from the 2017 Assembly and the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The SP believes that along with its existing smaller allies such as the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) it is capable of defeating the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2024 election.
“The SP will fight the 2024 Parliamentary polls with its existing alliance partners and is capable enough to defeat the ruling BJP. The public mood is against the government. There is no question of any alliance with the BSP or the Congress,” said the Party’s chief spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary.
“Confident of a good show”
Despite losing the 2022 Assembly polls, the SP is confident of a good show in the 2024 general election as its own vote share increased by more than 10% and was ahead in at least 24 Lok Sabha constituencies in the 2022 Assembly election. “Our alliance got more than 36% votes in the polls and despite all the tactics by the BJP we were ahead in 24 Parliamentary seats,” added Mr. Chaudhary. The SP also believed that the issues such as rising unemployment and price rise would act as a catalyst for the party and its smaller partners to bridge the gap of votes with the BJP in 2024.
The focus of the leadership is also to revamp the organisation and correct the loopholes visible during the 2022 Assembly poll in the coming months. In all likelihood the State and national convention would happen by November-December, new teams would be formed and afterwards the party may also appoint the Lok Sabha In-charges, who would oversee the preparation on the respective seats for the 2024 poll. In July, the party national president and former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav dissolved the SP’s national, State and district executive. Since then, Mr. Yadav is continuously meeting the party workers, visiting different districts to get the pulse of the ground situation.
Since the saffron party’s ascendency to power in the politically crucial State which sent 80 Lok Sabha members, the SP had tried different alliances but had failed to defeat the BJP. In the 2017 Assembly elections it formed an alliance with the Indian National Congress (INC) conceding 105 seats but was not able to stop the saffron surge. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the SP formed a ‘Mahagatbandhan’ with its bête noire the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), but failed to significantly lower the BJP’s numbers from U.P. in the lower house of the Parliament.
Many in Lucknow thought that a similar realignment with the BSP and the Congress was on the cards in U.P. after Akhilesh Yadav’s comment on Bihar’s political development where he said in other States also, the parties would stand up against the BJP. Mr. Yadav said, “This is a good beginning today, the day when the slogan of ‘Bharat chhodo’ (Quit India) was given against the British. If the slogan of ‘BJP bhagaao’ (drive away the BJP) is coming from Bihar, I feel that in other States also, the parties will stand up against the BJP and so will the people,”
“If the slogan of ‘BJP bhagaao’ (drive away the BJP) is coming from Bihar, I feel that in other States also, the parties will stand up against the BJP and so will the people”Akhilesh YadavU.P. Chief Minister